I have a question for you today. I’m curious if any of you have the urge to quit your job and take on something new every 7 years or so. That’s what my working life seems to be like. I graduated from college and started working in computer chip design right away. It was fun and challenging for a few years, but I couldn’t stick with it my entire career. After about 7 years, I got really bored and changed to the validation side of the process, which is making sure the computer chip works correctly. I worked in the same company, but the work was totally different. The change was nice for a few years and then I felt the need to change again after about 7 years. Also, the job was getting really stressful and I couldn’t handle it anymore due to the changing requirements. I quit my engineering career soon after and became a full time stay at home dad/blogger in 2012.
I have been blogging about personal finance for almost 6 years now and I’m wondering if I will get the itch to change again. Blogging has been awesome and I still enjoy it a great deal. Interacting with readers through the comment section is my favorite part of blogging. Writing is fun too, but I also get blogger block once in a while. Hopefully, I will be able to stick with it until I’m at least 50. Being self employed makes a huge difference because I can set my own schedule and manage my own workload. Life is much less stressful than when I had a manager looking over my shoulders. I could always cut back a bit if I start to get bored with blogging.
What about my family members? Let’s see what some of us did in our working life so far.
Mrs. RB40’s careers
Mrs. RB40 just changed jobs! She was relatively happy in her old job and was really good at it, but I think it was getting a bit stale for her. Things can get a bit boring if you deal with the same issues day in and day out for years without feeling like you’re making a true impact. Here is her work history.
- Worked her way through college at various student jobs (library assistant, theatre usher, clerk at museum store, television services assistant).
- 3 years of volunteering in the Peace Corps and readjustment.
- 1 year at a temp agency.
- 5 years at a tech company as an administrator.
- 2 years to get her Master degree while interning at various companies around town.
- 7 years in HR, employee relations.
- New job – training and employee development coordinator.
Wow, she changed jobs more than I did. Let’s see how long she will last at this new job. She plans to retire by 2020 so it might be just 5 years. Who knows what’s going to happen though.
My dad’s working life
My dad changed jobs quite often in his working life. Let’s list what kind of things he did.
- College – He earned a degree in education, but never taught in a school.
- Salesman – He sold Tupperware, encyclopedias, dining ware, among other things. I think he did this for a few years after college.
- Chicken farm – He started a chicken farm. My mom told me we had a two bedroom rental home and the chickens lived in one room. I assume this was when he just started.
- Pig farm – I think he did this for a few years. The pigs lived in their pig sty and I didn’t have a share a room with them…
- Copying service and store – Think Kinko’s.
- Appliance store – He had an appliance store for a few years. He expanded too fast and it went bankrupt. We moved the US after this business blew up.
- Antique Buddha trading – He bought and sold Thai Buddha amulets for a living for a few years.
- Fruit stand – I think this was very short lived.
- Pizza delivery guy, line cook, flier guy, gas station guy, and other odd jobs. He worked wherever he could for a few years when we first moved to the US.
- Thai restaurant owner/cook.
- Liquor store owner.
- Buddha statue store owner. He made and sold Buddha statues when he first moved back to Thailand. He gave up this business because the statues were getting too heavy for him.
- Day trader. I think he was a day-trading for 6-7 years. He’s not doing it now because he doesn’t have the funds.
- He has a few condos in Chiang Mai and he rents them out to generate some income.
- Retired? My dad just turned 70 recently and I think he’s taking it a bit easier now.
Whew, that’s a busy life. I’m sure I missed a few things. The Thai restaurant was the most stable of all these things he did. He owned the Thai restaurant for about 10 years and it funded 3 college degrees. I’m not sure why he didn’t want to work at the restaurant anymore. I think he got bored and wanted to try something else. The liquor store in the same strip mall was up for sale so he wanted to try that.
My dad’s biggest problem was that he didn’t have solid finances. He’d start a business with a loan and expand. When there was an inevitable hiccup, the business would quickly fail. The Thai restaurant was stable because the overhead was low and the cash flow was reasonably good. After all the kids went off to college, the operating cost increased because the kids couldn’t help out at the restaurant anymore.
My mom taught at a university for about 10 years. When we moved to the US, she picked up odd jobs until they became a business owner. She has been retired since they quit the liquor store business.
My brothers – My 2 younger brothers are still in their first career. They studied a long time and they probably need to stick with it for a while to make the time investment worth it. They don’t seem to feel the need to change careers like I do.
Yes, that was me on the pig. 🙂
I read on the internet that most people change career about 7 times in their working life. That’s a lot of changes. It’s from the internet so I don’t know how much we can trust it. I assume most professionals don’t change careers that often because their income is good and it’s difficult to start over in a new field. Blue collar workers probably change jobs/careers much more often because the work doesn’t require as much training.
It’s probably best to stick with one field and get really good at it. Whenever you start in a new field, your salary get reset so that’s not good. I couldn’t stick with being an engineer, though.
What about you? How many times have you changed careers in your working life? Do you feel the need to change jobs/careers every few years?
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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